Every time the group boxed 1,000 meals, FUMA senior Sodkhuu Anand hit the Stop Hunger Now gong – about every three minutes.  It took volunteers one hour and 40 minutes to pack 20,000 meals.

Mary Garner McGehee stood next to Haden Parrish, both Fluvanna High School seniors, sealing the meal bags. Each bag contained a multi-vitamin pack, dehydrated vegetables, soy protein and rice. McGehee ran the sealed bags to the boxing area.

“Haden recruited a ton of people,” she said. “It’s exciting to be a part of a group so intent on serving the community and people all around the world. And it’s so much fun working with FUMA.”

Mike Nelson, from Stop Hunger Now, spoke to the group before they started.  He held up his hand and raised one finger at a time and asked the group to clap when three fingers were raised. He did this over and over for a minute.

“Each time you clapped, another person in the world died of hunger,” Nelson said as the group gasped.  “That’s 25,000 people per day and most of them are children.”

Fluvanna High School Interact President Lexi Waller handed Nelson a check for $2,168.80 and FUMA Interact President Nathan Ilori gave him a check for $2,853.20. The students spent the months prior to the meal-packing event raising the funds to pay for the meals.

Waller moved into Fluvanna recently and had been involved in an Interact club at her old school. She saw volunteering with the group as a good way to meet people while helping others.

“I wanted to be a part of something and I enjoy being involved in a good cause,” Waller said.

Music pumped out of huge speakers keeping volunteers upbeat and on task.

Rudy Garcia, president-elect of the Fluvanna Rotary, said Rotary is all about serving with five areas of focus: disease eradication, maternal and child health, clean water, economic development and basic education.

This is the second year the group packed meals for Stop Hunger Now. Last year they packed 13,000.

Just as a group of FUMA students approached Garcia telling him they had to leave for baseball practice, his wife, Catherine Garcia, came walking into the dining hall followed by eight more students.

She just roamed the grounds and asked students to come help.

“I just went out and grabbed people,” she said. “That’s the one good thing about a boarding school – there’s always people hanging around.”



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